When you become comfortable with someone, it’s easy to become TOO comfortable. You stop making an effort, you let your sex life slide, and before you know it, it’s all become a little, well, boring. As more time ticks on, you might start to resent one another for how boring it’s all become. You start to slip into a loveless marriage, perhaps. Are we making you feel a little down? It’s not intentional, but it’s important to understand how paying a little attention to your relationship can lead you towards spotting the signs of an unhappy marriage.
You see, just because you’ve put a ring on it, doesn’t mean that you’re set for life. Marriage is hard work. You need to work every day to keep things on track and to make things better than before. A lack of effort can easily lead to resentment and unhappiness.
Of course, it sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it?
We’re painting a pretty negative picture of marriage. But, that’s not how it really is. If you do put in the work and you’re committed to your partner, marriage can be the most wonderful experience. And, it can be a way for your relationship to continue growing.
The problem is, many people don’t put in the work.
[Read: The 13 secrets of a happy marriage that can make or break your romance]
A marriage or a happy relationship never falls apart for one reason.
More often than not, even if you’re stuck in a marriage that doesn’t give you happiness, you’d choose to ignore the red flag signs. After all, it’s easy to ignore something instead of dealing with the mess of having to fix it. That’s certainly the case when you’re not sure what you need to do.
And even worse, at times, you may convince yourself that all relationships are doomed to mediocrity and self-satisfaction. That’s not the case, you simply need to work out what’s wrong and fix it. [Read: Do you believe in love or have you given up on finding it?]
Many many people start seeing the signs of an unhappy marriage when it’s too late. Or, it’s that they simply ignored the signs before.
A loveless marriage doesn’t just happen, as we’ve already mentioned. The main reason is a lack of effort, but some people jump into marriage a little too soon without realizing that marriage isn’t something you should take lightly.
Yet, life is also a reason why a happy relationship can turn into a loveless marriage over time. Things happen. Those things can change us.
Maybe you’ve been through a hard time with your family and it changes how you see the world – that could easily affect your relationship. Maybe you’ve been sick or you’ve been through a very stressful time.
The only way to come through all of these things with your marriage intact is to put in the effort, every day. [Read: Not happy in a relationship? How to choose the right path for you]
An unhappy or loveless marriage is the slow accumulation of annoyances, pain, bitterness, ego, and miscommunication that burdens the romance. And each time one or both lovers choose to ignore the signs and avoid communicating what each of them really feels, the relationship only moves closer to the end.
You may be able to point to a particular circumstance that leads to the loveless romance, but almost always, the particular circumstance isn’t the real reason.
In fact, it’s only the tipping point. In reality, all the other reasons led you to unhappiness. Unfortunately, though, most of us never care enough to pick the little flaws and work on the marriage. It’s just so much easier to give up and walk away, especially when egos enter the picture.
Don’t let that be you. [Read: Affairs in a marriage and the games egos play]
If you’re in a marriage or even in a long-term relationship, keep an eye on these subtle signs. You may accept them as a part and parcel of every relationship, but in reality, they can tear your marriage apart over time.
If you’re in a happy marriage, your partner should be your true confidant. You should be happy to communicate with them and share all the pleasant and sordid details of your life with them.
Do you feel more comfortable talking to someone else outside the marriage about your secrets? It may start off as an emotional release, but it will eventually get in the way of marital bliss. [Read: 24 subtle signs you’re having an emotional affair already and don’t even know it!]
There are a few relationships where both partners have no complaints about each other at all because they completely understand each other and their individual points of view. They get along perfectly.
If you’re experiencing this grand state of telepathy in your marriage, that’s awesome!
But if you’re in a marriage where you do find faults with your husband or wife, and yet, choose not to talk about it with them because it’s just not worth the effort, that’s not good.
When you lose hope of ever changing the situation or helping them see their flaws, you’re in the no-complaints relationship. Over time, these little annoyances could lead to huge frustrations in your marriage. [Read: The 80 20 rule in marriage and your love life]
Almost all the time, you find ways to satisfy these needs yourself, be it sexual or emotional. But at the same time, you may constantly find yourself grumbling or whining within your own mind about how much better it could have been if your partner was more involved in satisfying your needs.
It’s a two-way street and in order for your marriage to be happy and healthy, both of you need to have your needs met equally. [Read: Are you being selfish in your marriage? 19 signs you’re being a user without realizing it]
This is the flipside to the previous sign of an unhappy marriage, but it is a valid point too. Sometimes, two lovers just have different needs. And you may have needs that just can’t be fulfilled by your partner.
So what do you do then? Do you compromise for the sake of your marriage or do you walk away? There’s a thin line between expectations and reality.
Communicate with your partner and talk to your friends. If your needs seem justified, you have a right to expect them from your partner. If your needs seem to be high-maintenance, you need to decide what holds more value to you – your needs or your marriage. [Read: 20 healthy expectations in a relationship that define a good love life]
One of the clear signs of an unhappy marriage is when your marriage turns into a roommates-arrangement. Both of you lead individual lives. In a happy marriage or a long-term relationship, it doesn’t matter how distant both your career or life paths are, both of you have to understand one another and be willing to offer a shoulder.
Many people don’t make the effort to understand more about their partner’s work life and their daily experiences, and yet wonder why they’re drifting apart.
Always remember this – if you can’t offer the emotional support your partner needs, they may look to someone else to get that same support. [Read: How to be more empathetic and 16 ways to make anyone feel understood]
You could be in a relationship with one person and still find yourself getting sexually attracted to someone else now and then. But do you talk about this little crush you have, or do you hide the secret, all the while spinning secret fantasies in your head?
If you have a crush on someone else or consider some person to be physically attractive, you shouldn’t have difficulty talking about it with your partner if you’re in a secure and happy marriage.
Hiding this secret interest, on the other hand, could leave you annoyed because you’ll feel guilty and at the same time, feel more distant from your spouse.
In a secure relationship, both partners talk about their crushes and sexual fantasies with someone else without really feeling awkward about it. As long as there’s no intention to act upon them, there’s no problem. [Read: How to sexually fantasize about someone else with your partner]
If you’re in an unhappy marriage, you’ll see a lot of conflicting differences in both your perspectives towards life and your goals in life.
This is something most college sweethearts that don’t communicate well end up facing as the years pass by.
When two people come together in a marriage, they communicate with each other and their goals start to align to form one common goal. [Read: How to know if you’re not in love anymore and are drifting apart]
One of the big signs of a loveless unhappy marriage is when you’re being rigid and aloof about your responsibilities in a relationship.
All of us have responsibilities when we’re in a relationship. But do you take your responsibilities too seriously and avoid looking beyond that? Do you believe that earning money for the family or looking after the house is the end of your responsibility?
In an unhappy marriage, both partners rely too much on their responsibilities to determine if they’re doing their *job* as a spouse.
You know your responsibility in the marriage, and as long as you feel you’re doing what’s expected of you, you assume you’ve done nothing wrong and you never will.
But in reality, responsibilities in a relationship are a yardstick of reference, nothing more. If your partner wants to communicate with you or picks a flaw, think beyond your responsibilities.
You expect too much from your spouse. So, you subtly pressurize them or undermine them by comparing other marriages or people. You may think this would help your lover or spouse understand your wants better. But it won’t. This is one of the major signs of an unhappy marriage.
Don’t ever create expectations in a relationship based on comparisons. It’ll only pressurize and anger your partner instead of helping them understand your point of view.
If someone feels they’re never good enough because they’re always being compared negatively, do you really think they’ll ever feel good about it? [Read: The power of your words and how it can affect your partner]
Pointing a finger at your lover is easy. If you’re in an unhappy marriage, you’ll find yourself constantly blaming the sorry state of your marriage on your spouse. It’s easy to point a finger, but have you ever wondered if you could perhaps have a part to play in it too?
In a happy marriage, arguments do happen. But arguments are not used as a tool to inflict pain. They’re used as tools of communication to help better the marriage. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
An addiction can ruin any marriage, and end up leaving both of you bitter and angry. If you have an addiction, you may feel like your partner doesn’t understand you and is being unreasonable, even though you realize that you’re the bad one now and then.
And on the other hand, your partner may feel helpless and depressed.
Make an effort and deal with your addiction, by yourself or with professional help. You may not realize it today, but your addiction could kill your marriage very soon. [Read: The reason behind why men are so addicted to porn]
The ego is a powerful tool in marriage. It doesn’t rear its head often, but when it does, it changes everything. Does one of you think you’re better than the other person? In a marriage, the two people involved are a team. Even if you don’t realize it, both of you almost always play an equal part in holding it together.
But if you ever assume you’re too good for your spouse, you may feel a tingle of minor annoyance to begin with. Eventually, you’ll lose respect for your partner.
And someday, you’ll stray into the arms of a person you respect and consider an equal.
If you ever feel like you’re doing more work in a relationship, or if you feel like you’re being taken for granted, talk about it with your partner. The few minutes of silent treatment or anger will eventually fade and that’s way better than years of disrespect and ego clashes. [Read: The top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook]
A loveless unhappy marriage is not worth experiencing. And when you recognize these signs of an unhappy marriage in your love life, it’s painful and it can make your life feel like a complete waste of time.
But it can all be fixed if you choose to fix it. All it needs is the initiative and the memory of the good times and the romance to bring all the love back into your loveless marriage.
[Read: The 25 rules of love you need to follow for a successful relationship]
Use these signs of an unhappy, loveless marriage to find out if you’re experiencing any of them in your own relationship. And if you are, communicate with your spouse. It really helps.
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